Jon Cole Gymnasium Now Complete At Williston High School
The outside entrance of the gym at Williston High School looks a bit different today.
The Jon Cole Gymnasium is now complete at Williston High School. Late yesterday afternoon, Leo from The Sign Shop in Williston got the letters put up on the outside of the gymnasium at WHS. The gym has carried Jon's name since the new school opened in 2016, and after several delays involving personnel, school boards, and superintendents, the project wrapped up yesterday.
Back in 2016, Williston City Commissioner, and Williston High alumni, Tate Cymbaluk started the process to name the court after the veteran broadcaster who has been a member of the Mon-Dak region for over 40 years. Cymbaluk said that over the years, students and instructors have moved through the area, but Cole has stuck in people's minds because of the joy he radiates in his storytelling. Jon has acted as a middleman between the student athlete and the many viewers that catch his local sports reports nightly on the TV. Tate added that as soon as he started to make calls to other WHS alumni, his desk soon started to fill up with letters, each one expressing profound gratitude for Cole's contributions to the community until the stack became close to 50. Even while each letter gave a slightly different account of how the writer came to that, all of them shared the themes of loyalty and devotion.
The day came to present the idea to then Williston District 1 School Board members. When presenting his case to the board, Cymbaluk said of Cole, "He doesn't simply interview the guy who scored 30 points but also interviews the youngster who sat on the bench, because he played just as an important role." After some quick consideration, some board members who had been interviewed by Cole while they were still student athletes thought that he belonged even more, not just on the court, but throughout the entire gym. A motion to rename the facility "Jon Cole Gymnasium" was made by former D1 board member Brion Norby, and it was approved without opposition. Cymbaluk remarked, "This community and those kids are Jon's life. It seems obvious that renaming the gym would be an excellent tribute'.
On December 15, 2016, The ceremony was held at Williston High School. The gym was packed with Coyote fans, but truthfully, we were all there to celebrate Jon Cole! From that night, moving forward, the facility is called Jon Cole Gymnasium.
I can't say enough good about Jon Cole, and how much he deserves this. He is an outstanding asset to the region, and is truly the best at what he does! Congratulations Jon, and thanks for all you do for the region, and for the broadcasting community!